Sedeh Boker

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SEDEH BOKER (Heb. שְׂדֵה בּוֹקֵר; "Cattle Rancher's Field"), kibbutz in the central Negev hills of Israel, 11 mi. (19 km.) S. of Yeroḥam, affiliated with Iḥud ha-Kevuẓot ve-ha-Kibbutzim. Sedeh Boker, founded as a pioneer outpost in 1952, was initially an isolated "farming cooperative" in the middle of the desert, unaffiliated with any nationwide settlement association. The settlers were mostly veteran Israelis of different political affiliations. They began with horse breeding, but later introduced sheep flocks and orchards. They reclaimed the loess soil for farming from the desert by special methods. Irrigation depends on the rare flood waters in the rainy season and sewage water. Farming is based on the orchards as well as vineyards, organic citrus groves, and poultry. Sedeh Boker also operates a cellotape factory. From the end of 1953, David *Ben-Gurion and his wife made their home at the kibbutz. In the mid-1990s the population of Sedeh Boker was approximately 365 and at the end of 2002 it was 471.

[Efraim Orni /

Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]

In 1965 Midreshet Sedeh Boker was founded on the initiative of Ben-Gurion. It comprised a teachers' training seminary, a boarding high school whose students were mostly from Negev towns and settlements, and a school for field studies. The Midrashah, located 3 mi. (5 km.) south of the kibbutz, on the rim of the wild Zin Canyon, provides both general education and vocational training, with emphasis on the natural sciences. It defines itself as an interdisciplinary center for desert studies and hosts elementary schools, high schools, and field schools, offering advanced seminars. The Midrashah includes two academic research centers: the Institute for Desert Research and the Ben-Gurion Heritage Center.

[Yosef Shadur /

Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]